Columbia is a census‑designated place (CDP) which lies west of Intersate 95, approximately midway between Baltimore and Washington, D.C.. Columbia mail is covered by 3 separate zip codes: 21044, 21045 and 21046.
In the 1960s, Jim Rouse envisioned the planned community of Columbia , Maryland as new kind of American city, that was rationally planned to avoid the problems associated with larger cities and sprawling suburbs. To carry out this vision, Columbia was designed as a series of 10 interconnected villages with supporting employment, civic, and service uses. These villages surrounded a larger town center. Major entertainment facilities and retail centers were pre-phased in the Town Center to spur growth in the new community. The strategy was successful; however, after four decades of growth in the surrounding villages, Downtown Columbia had not significantly developed. Beginning about 2005, various stakeholders joined to begin creating a master plan for the future development of Downtown Columbia.
The Villages  and their constituent neighborhoods are:
Nearby Towns: Clarksville • Ellicott City • Highland •